YMMV: Flowers in the Attic

  • Artistic License Biology: Long-term close confinement during adolescence would have made Cathy and Chris even less likely to be sexually attracted to one another, due to the Westermarck effect.
    • This is a YMMV in that some believe the Westermarck effect to be artistic license of biology in itself.
  • Complete Monster: We have Corrinne and Olivia Foxworth. Olivia, Corrinne's mother, is a fanatic who tortures and abuses her family for what she perceives as "sinful." Corrinne, having lost her parents' favor by running away and marrying (so she thought) her own half-uncle, wants to inherit the family fortune, but cannot if she and her husband are established to have any children. Therefore, she and Olivia lock Corrinne's children in the attic where they leave them for over a year and conspire to poison them slowly in order to do away with the children with none the wiser. The youngest child Cory dies from this.
    • If we take Garden of Shadows in consideration, Corrinne goes up even more on the monster scale as a pathological liar during this book.
  • Critical Research Failure / Science Marches On: Even in view of their twisted horrific circumstances, the Westermarck Effect would surely have prevented Chris and Cathy from having any interest in each other. Corrine and Christopher Sr.'s incestuous relationship makes sense only because they were raised apart from each other and therefore could not develop the reversed sexual imprinting that typically prevents such incestuous desires from developing in the first place. While Westermarck's research was not widely known or confirmed at the time of this book's publishing, there was already plenty of historical anecdotal evidence for this natural phenomenon underlying the incest taboo.
    • One counterargument to this might also be the (arguable) increase in each other's perceived sexual attractiveness brought on by the stress of their situation.
    • The other being the argument against the Westermarck effect in general, which not everyone agrees to be accurate on sexual attraction. See above on artistic license.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Olivia the grandmother when her past is revealed in the prequel book Garden of Shadows.
  • Moral Event Horizon: For Cathy, her mother crossed this when she let Cory die.
  • Narm: The movie version is full of it.
    • "Go on. Eat it! EAT THE COOKIE!"
    • "Full of it"? The whole movie is pure Narm.
  • Retroactive Recognition : Kristy Swanson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) plays Cathy.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!!: Olivia is played by Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher).